Culture

Wait — Paul Thomas Anderson's 'The Master' Is About Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard?

Paul Thomas Anderson has officially confirmed that his new film "The Master" is about the late Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard (as if you had any doubts). He's also talking about adapting Thomas Pynchon's "Inherent Vice." If that sounds stuffy to you, take heart: Anderson hopes the film will be "like a Cheech and Chong movie." Let the good times roll!

Now that Jeremy Renner's star may be rising -- he's in everything from "The Avengers" to the new "Bourne" movie to the upcoming "Mission: Impossible" -- his past is under greater scrutiny. A 2005 interview has surfaced in which the young actor, promoting the film "Neo Ned," drops the N-bomb twice while waxing sentimental about his poor, misunderstood character ... who just happens to be a neo-Nazi. Although he's surely grown more mature and media savvy since then, we can tell from the new "Hansel and Gretel" trailer that he's firmly anti-witch.

While we're on the subject of racial sensitivity, it's time to revisit the issues that "Cloud Atlas" faces as a film in which people of multiple ethnicities are reincarnated through the ages. They already averted a whitewashing crisis last year by casting Doona Bae in a Korean role that nearly went to Natalie Portman, but now that the film's trailer has been released, complaints have arisen over the appearance of Hugo Weaving in Asian yellowface, including prosthetic epicanthic folds over his eyes. While the directors have clearly tried for "colorblind" casting across the various characters' reincarnations (Halle Berry plays a European white woman for part of the film), Hollywood has an unfortunate tradition of overlooking male Asian actors, giving their roles to white men instead. Couldn't the Wachowskis have found a gentler way to show continuity between that particular character's lives?

What kind of reader are you? The Atlantic's survey has probably got you pegged. Are you a Book Buster? A Delayed Onset Reader? Or perhaps you're a Hate Reader who complains about your book du jour every step of the way? When you're done with those, here are some additional types. They've even been kind enough to recommend some reads to fit your type.

 

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